Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Thursday July 28, 2016
Barack Obama to make case for Hillary Clinton, his legacy
President Barack Obama’s three Democratic convention speeches have, in succession, launched his national career, thrust him into the Oval Office and secured him a second term. On Wednesday, he’ll work during his fourth marquee convention address to ensure those earlier efforts weren’t for naught.
In his prime-time pitch for Hillary Clinton, and during a heavy campaign schedule this fall, Obama plans to argue not only for the Democratic nominee, but for the progressive policies that he’s spent the last eight years enacting — an agenda that will depend largely on his successor to maintain.
His message, according to those helping him prepare for the speech: Don’t flush everything away with Donald Trump.
Obama plans to draw on his long and complicated relationship with Clinton, which began as a rivalry but has evolved into what the pair hopes can become the first elected Democrat-to-Democrat presidential transition in modern history.
In pre-convention interviews, Obama has been frank about his relationship with Clinton, admitting they aren’t “bosom buddies.”
“We don’t go vacationing together,” Obama said during a CBS interview Sunday. “I think that I’ve got a pretty clear-eyed sense of both her strengths and her weaknesses. And what I would say would be that this is somebody who knows as much about domestic and foreign policy as anybody.”
“She’s not always flashy. And there are better speech-makers,” he said. “But she knows her stuff.”
Many top Republicans skipped their party’s convention last week, fearing links to Trump. But Democratic convention organizers had a wealth of willing speakers, programming prime-time speeches from high-profile and well-liked Democrats like Obama, Vice President Joe Biden (who also speaks Wednesday), first lady Michelle Obama, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren.
President George W. Bush skipped his party’s 2008 meeting and wasn’t a major presence on the campaign trail for Sen. John McCain. Obama, conversely, is expected to spend most of October on the campaign trail for Clinton, working to encourage the coalition of voters — formed of young people and minorities — to vote this time around.
An ABC News/Washington Post poll this month showed Obama’s approval at 56% — the highest point since early in his first term. (Source: CNN)